HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The wolf population in the Northern Rockies rose in 2011 despite the removal
of federal protections and hunts being held in Montana and Idaho.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Wednesday that the region's
population was 1,774 wolves, an increase of more than 7 percent from
2010 numbers.

FWS Regional Director Steve Guertin says the population estimates show that Montana and Idaho have done a good job in their first year of managing the species since Congress removed federal
protections. Montana had aimed to cut its population by 25 percent.  But the hunt fell short of the quota and the state's wolf population actually rose 15 percent in 2011.

In Idaho, there were 31 fewer wolves at the end of 2011 compared to the year before.